On the back of a £671m bribery settlement, Rolls-Royce has apologised. Whilst most companies got a grip on the widespread corporate bung culture of the 80’s and 90’s, they were unable to do so. The use of external handlers to meet with industry decision makers in other countries is blamed as the motivating factor behind the decades-long practice. Cars, cash, and even university courses were reportedly used to curry favour and win contracts.
After the news was announced, markets reacted in typical, if counter-intuitive, form as Rolls-Royce stock price actually rose. Experienced commentators have suggested the increase may be due to the SFO’s payment plan for the £671m together with the notion that the company is finally beginning to heal itself.